Mornings in the chimp house are a flurry of activity. Staff and volunteers clean the chimpanzee enclosures from about 9:00 when we arrive until lunchtime at 1:00. It’s usually not until after the chimpanzees are served lunch that we have a moment to sit down. Except for the coldest part of winter, the chimps typically spend the afternoon between lunch and dinner engaged in some quiet activity in the warm greenhouse (grooming and napping are favorites). This time in the greenhouse is usually so warm and slow and lazy that I often find my eyes getting heavy if I stay too long in there.
I popped my head in after lunch yesterday and Burrito was sitting in a windowsill with a couple of plastic fish toys. I could tell he was feeling low-key because he didn’t jump up into his usual game of chase when he saw me – he merely nodded his head a little and bit on the fishes. (He often bites on something when he’s feeling playful.)
I did get a playface out of him.
After a few minutes he moved over to the deck to get a little more comfortable.
He summoned up just enough energy for a brief game of peekaboo…
…before passing out.